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River 02-07-2003 12:11 PM

companion way doors
I have been thinking about converting the wash boards on my pearson 30 to swinging doors. What are the opinions on safety, leaking, and strength for doors. I''ve seen boats with doors but the p-30 has a very large opening. Thanks

paulk 02-08-2003 04:10 PM

companion way doors
Swinging doors aren''t as waterproof, burglarproof, or safe as drop-sliders. They also take up space, requiring not only the room to swing but space in the cockpit once they''re open. Unless they''re planned out well, the open doors may also cover instruments mounted on the aft cabin bulkhead. If you make them with the lift-off hinges, you have the same storage problem as with drop=slide hatchboards. Swinging doors are also difficult to make. Getting the two sides to match properly and latch in the middle, overlap the bottom of the opening so as to keep water out and not warp out of alignment is really tricky. I think Chappelle must have at least an entire chapter on how to go about selecting the wood, examining the grain, matching the sides, figuring out the hardware, and rabbeting out the sides. This tells me that it must take about 20 years to get it right the first time, and then maybe another 5 years to get it right again. Of course you won''t know if you''ve got it right until you''ve tried. Then a wave or a crew will break it by falling against it in a seaway, or someone will kick it in so they can steal your radio too. I''d stick with the drop-slides.

BigRed56 02-09-2003 05:38 PM

companion way doors
Ahoy foolish one, paulk has it right stick to slides, but if yer of a mind to change let me know wher ye be I be needing a few things for me boat . Pirate of Pine Island

obiec 02-10-2003 02:57 AM

companion way doors
My Islander 33 has a swing door and I love it at first it turned me off to th boat but it s disigned well never is it in the way it opens and closes so quikly that I think it makes it safer. for I am much mor likly to have my cabin closed I dont have the boards in my way. and during the winter with heat it is realy nice when you are in and out. but the boat was disigned that way. I just sold her and bought a 38 Ingrid so I am back to boards, Bummer.

tsenator 02-10-2003 04:41 AM

companion way doors
I put nice companionway doors on my C36 and I love them. At first I thought I would only use them in at dock or what have you, but I have left them on virtually all the time. The light that they bring in and the ease of opening and closing due to inclimate weather is a godsend. They align very well even though they are fairly long. They are very nicely custom made hatches , albeit, not cheap.

Take a look they are at

I have left them on even when sailing in 10-12 foot seas. No I wouldn''t want to fall against them, I really don''t think they''d hold up that well and would most likely turn to tinder if I did.

But another nice feauture of these doors is that they can lift off and you can still use the original drop in hatches. If it got *really* snotty, I would put the drop in slides, but in the 2 years I''ve owned the doors I have yet to put the drop in slide back.

As far as safety goes. If anyone really wants to break into a boat with drop in slides, all they need is a bolt cutter. I would argue its not much harder to break into any boat when a thief wants something.

Whitewings2003 12-30-2009 11:28 AM

I had lift off companion way doors also, they were four panel doors that folded neatly and lapped over each other. I had slides on my previous boat and they were stored under the pilot berth, kind of lumpy whe you are trying to catch zzzz's. As far as waterproof, when you take a wave over the top, you are going to take water.

NICHOLSON58 12-30-2009 05:51 PM

You might look at some of the new Hunters. They have a nice swinging door in plastic and aluminum you might use as a go-by. I think that I've seen some that are totally self contained and fit into your existing slide slots.

blt2ski 12-30-2009 06:31 PM

along with 2 of you have now answered a post from 2003. Not sure if the OP is still looking........

BUT, swinging doors instead of panels are not that hard to do/design. I have both. Panels for security, swinging for when sailing/motoring in nice weather and want some reasonable what I would call "Rainproofness" into the below deck area, along with some wind protection. Certainly NOT BIG wave proof from behind. I would need to use my panels for that, and even then not sure they are that waterproof!


MJBrown 12-30-2009 10:48 PM

Beneteau has been putting them on some of thier newer models. We have the 43 which has them and love them. Keeps the heat or cool inside as you can pop on through pretty quick. Yes they're easier to kick in but as another poster mentioned drop boards aren't going to stop a thief either. Can't imagine going back to drop boards. A friend has a Catalina with a custom set of doors. He still has the track and drop boards and the ability to choose between the two. Go for it.

Shortman 12-31-2009 02:10 PM

This may be an old thread but its revival is timely for me as I am mocking up a set of doors now. My motivation is easier in & out in chilly/inclement weather and also a clear (solar bronze) panel instead of light blocking wood. I intend to do lift off hinges & still be able to use boards. The sites that have them for sale make note of not intended for offshore use. A good project to keep me out of the bars for the winter.

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